IT Strategy Template


Enclosed is a simple template to create an IT Strategy for your organization. This is intended to be the starting point not a definitive or exhaustive workbook on creating an IT Strategy.

The New CXO Mindset

How to effectively use Information Technology to gain and maintain competitive advantage

Sourabh Hajela

Information Technology Strategy Template

Session:

Chair:

Date:

Name: _____________________________________

Business Name: _____________________________________

Why do some organizations create unprecedented shareholder value using IT, while others are lost at sea? It is no secret that IT is a strategic weapon that can be used toward competitive advantage, what is often in doubt is how to make it happen. Can you say with certainty that you are getting the biggest bang for your IT buck? Can you prove it? If gaining sustainable competitive advantage is an imperative for you, read on. This IT Strategy Template will show you how to use IT for shareholder value…and we can prove it!

IT Strategy Template: Baseline

Q1. What are your top 5 business “pain” points?

These are things that you wish you had or had a solution for. Please put the first 5 things that come to mind.

Business “pain” points:

  1. ______________________________________________________________________________
  2. ______________________________________________________________________________
  3. ______________________________________________________________________________
  4. ______________________________________________________________________________
  5. ______________________________________________________________________________

Q2. What are your top 5 business “objectives”?

For example, the following are some common reasons that drive business strategy:

  • Business objectives – forward action: Things that you must do to succeed
  • Business objectives – risk mitigation: Things you must avoid to succeed
  • Business objectives – overcoming roadblocks: Thing you must overcome to succeed
  • Business objectives – other?

These can be short term or long term. They can be driven by revenue, cost, time to market, competitive advantage, risk or some other reason.

Business Objectives (Long Term/Short Term):

  1. LT/ST__________________________________________________________________________
  2. LT/ST__________________________________________________________________________
  3. LT/ST__________________________________________________________________________
  4. LT/ST__________________________________________________________________________
  5. LT/ST__________________________________________________________________________

Q3. How do you plan to achieve these objectives?

For example:

  • If revenue increase is an objective, then enhancing the scope and reach of your distribution channel is an imperative. This can be achieved by going direct to customer or getting more distributors for your product.
  • If reducing cost is an objective, then sending electronic statements can reduce printing costs
  • If margins is the issue then selling direct can reduce broker/distributor commissions
OpportunityImperative
Revenue
Cost
Risk
Customer Satisfaction/Retention
Other

Q4. What is in the way of achieving your imperatives?

For example:

  • If revenue increase is an objective, then enhancing the scope and reach of your distribution channel is an imperative. This can be achieved by going direct to customer or getting more distributors for your product. Complication: you do not have the money to invest
  • If reducing cost is an objective, then sending electronic statements can reduce printing costs. Complication: you do not have the technology staff to pull this off
  • If margin is the issue then selling direct can reduce broker/distributor commissions. Complication: you do not have the technology to pull this off or this will offend your current distributors who might leave.
ImperativeComplication/Implication
Revenue
Cost
Risk
Customer Satisfaction/Retention
Other

Q5. What will we gain by leveraging IT capability across the business?

OpportunityRationale
Sales and Marketing
Manufacturing and Operations
Procurement
After Sales Service

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IT Strategy Template: Business Analysis

Q6. Who is your “customer”?

  1. What do you know about their demographics?
  2. What do you know about their psychographics i.e. behavior and preferences?
  3. How do you know your customer demographics and psychographics?

Customer Demographic:

Customer Behavior and Preferences:

Q7. What is our current business model?

Q8. What are the strengths/weaknesses/gaps in this business model?

Q9. What are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing your business?

StrengthsWeaknesses
OpportunitiesThreats

Q10. What is each product’s profitability by market and channel?

MarketCustomerProductPurpose
Instructions“S”, “M”, and/or “L”“C”, “B”, and/or “P”List applicable products“S”, “B”, and/or “V”
Direct
Sales Force
Brokers/Dealers
Phone
Wireless (Phone)
Wireless (Palm/Other)

Q11. What are some of the key areas in which your competitors are better than you? Is this “gap” of importance to our customer?

GapRationale
Sales and Marketing
Manufacturing and Operations
Procurement
After Sales Service
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IT Strategy Analysis

Q12. What is in the way of achieving your business imperatives?

For example:

  • If revenue increase is an objective, then getting more enhancing the scope and reach of your distribution channel is an imperative. This can be achieved by going direct to customer or getting more distributors for your product. Complication: you do not have the money to invest
  • If reducing cost is an objective, then sending electronic statements can reduce printing costs. Complication: you do not have the technology staff to pull this off
  • If margin is the issue then selling direct can reduce broker/distributor commissions. Complication: you do not have the technology to pull this off or this will offend your current distributors who might leave.
ImperativeComplication/Implication
RevenuePeople:Process:Technology:Other:
CostPeople:Process:Technology:Other:
RiskPeople:Process:Technology:Other:
Customer Satisfaction/RetentionPeople:Process:Technology:Other:
OtherPeople:Process:Technology:Other:

Q13. Can IT help achieve your business imperatives?

Complication/ImplicationSolution
RevenueApplication:Information:Infrastructure:
CostApplication:Information:Infrastructure:
RiskApplication:Information:Infrastructure:
Customer Satisfaction/RetentionApplication:Information:Infrastructure:
OtherApplication:Information:Infrastructure:

Q14. What will we gain by leveraging IT capability (selling, manufacturing, buying or servicing) across the business?

OpportunityRationale
Sales and Marketing(Hint: Usually the opportunities are on the revenue and some on cost side)
Manufacturing and Operations(Hint: Usually the opportunities are on the cost side)
Procurement(Hint: Usually the opportunities are on the cost side)
After Sales Service(Hint: Usually the opportunities are on the cost and customer retention side)

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IT Strategy Template: Environment trend Analysis

Q15. Top 5 business trends? Which of these will affect you? How?

No.TrendImpactRationale
1
2
3
4
5

Q16. Top 5 technology trends? Which of these will affect you? How?

No.TrendImpactRationale
1
2
3
4
5

Trend analysis leads to the creation of business impact statement and risk mitigation strategy.

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IT Strategy Template: Current IT Capability Analysis

Q17. How much do you spend on it? (Is it the largest single investment?)

1. Where do you spend that money? (categorize that spend)

2. Why? (How much have you earned from it?

Q18. What is your technology ROI?

Q19. Does your company have a plan for technology?

Q20. Does your business plan include a technology plan?

Q21. Where is IT being used across your business?

IT CapabilityRationale
Sales and Marketing(Hint: Usually the opportunities are on the revenue and some on cost side)Application:Information:Infrastructure:
Manufacturing and Operations(Hint: Usually the opportunities are on the cost side)Application:Information:Infrastructure:
Procurement(Hint: Usually the opportunities are on the cost side)Application:Information:Infrastructure:
After Sales Service(Hint: Usually the opportunities are on the cost and customer retention side)Application:Information:Infrastructure:

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